By Caitlyn Holt, Black Fox Philanthropy Summer 2018 Intern

As a kid, there was not a single doubt in my mind that I was going to be a veterinarian. I planned my whole life around it and even bought a small animal stethoscope in 8th grade to start my career. This was the plan until I sat in on an equine surgery and nearly fainted at the sight of blood.

Not quite sure what track my life was on, I applied to a program called the Girls Leadership Council through the Women’s Foundation of Colorado on a whim. I was overjoyed when I found out I was accepted and would soon start the program at the University of Denver.

The first day I stepped foot in that program, I knew I was home. The Girls Leadership Council was dedicated to shaping girls into future female leaders and Black Fox Philanthropy supported this mission through financial scholarships and in-kind donations.

I first met Natalie Rekstad, Black Fox Philanthropy’s CEO and Founder, during an informal interview for her Business and Philanthropy award called Black Fox Scholars, which I actually ended up receiving at the end of the program (I still showcase that award in my room). This leadership program opened my eyes to incredible women who are changing the world. I knew I wanted to be one of them.

A few years after that program, I reached out to Natalie again and asked about an internship for the summer of 2018. I was connected to the Black Fox team and was welcomed with open arms as a part-time intern. Every Friday, I work with Black Fox Philanthropy at the Posner Center learning about clients, donor databases, non-profit technology, and working with a lot of spreadsheets.

This internship has opened my eyes to the inner workings of small businesses and nonprofits. Each week I get to see that behind every nonprofit we work with, there’s a team of intelligent and savvy women dedicated to helping them change the world.

I’m currently a college student, studying a mix of global politics, environmental science, and French. With this mixed bag of an education, the road after graduation seems a little hazy; however, this summer has opened my eyes to a possible path in nonprofit work. There’s something about a group of people who want to dedicate their lives to the betterment of those less fortunate that’s very appealing to me. I am so fortunate to get an inside look at Black Fox Philanthropy, and look forward to using what I learned as I move forward in my education.